Chattanooga took a 31-point lead into the finals and distanced itself even further from the field as the evening progressed. The Mocs finished with 102.5 points, 40 clear of second-place Campbell. The Citadel was third at 59.0.
Head coach Heath Eslinger was named SoCon Coach of the Year for the second time in his four years at UTC after leading the Mocs to tonight's 40-point win and a perfect 7-0 SoCon dual record in the regular season.
Title winners for Chattanooga were sophomore Nick Soto at 125, junior Alex Hudson at 149, senior Josh Condon at 165 and senior Niko Brown at 197. It could have been an even bigger win for UTC, considering three of the losses in the finals were by one point.
Senior Dean Pavlou at 141, freshman John Lampe at 174 and senior Robert Prigmore at 184, all lost in the finals by the narrowest of margins. Sophomore Kevin Malone was the other runner-up for UTC at heavyweight.
Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) started the finals by capturing his second SoCon title. He dropped down from 133 to 125 this season and will return to the NCAAs after a 4-0 win over Campbell's Eric Montoya. After getting a first round bye, Soto improved his overall record to 26-6 with two wins today.
Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) almost pulled off a huge upset over No. 6 Ugi Khishignyam in the finals at 141. Seeded second this weekend, Pavlou had dropped two matches to top-seeded Khishignyam in the regular season. He lost 8-3 at the Hokie Open and 8-1 in the dual on Jan. 27. However, Pavlou kept the score much closer tonight.
Khishignyam could only get one takedown in the opening period, and Pavlou quickly escaped to make the score 2-1. Pavlou tied it in the second period with an escape. He could not keep Khishignyam down in the third, giving up the escape for the 3-2 score.
The SoCon was awarded two automatic bids at 125, 141 and 165, so Pavlou will advance to the NCAAs for the third time in his career. He has a career-best 24-12 record this season
Hudson (Marietta, Ga.) continued his hot streak with three wins at 149 today. He scored bonus points in his first two matches before winning his first SoCon title with a 7-3 decision over Gardner-Webb's Ryan Medved. He will take an 11-match winning streak and a 15-5 overall record to the NCAA Championships.
After winning the league at 157 as a sophomore in 2011, Condon (Powder Springs, Ga.) moved up to 165 and won his second SoCon title tonight. He scored pins in his first two matches and cruised to a 7-3 win in the finals over Appalachian State's Zach Strickland. Condon was a candidate for the tournament's most outstanding performer, but that honor went to Khishignyam who also had two pins. He improved to 12-5 with his 10th-straight win, including pins in seven of his last nine matches.
Lampe (Fairdale, Ky.), the top seed at 174, took on Gardner-Webb's Hunter Gamble in the finals. Gamble was seeded sixth, but only gave up an escape to Lampe in regulation. Gamble went on to win the match 2-1 in overtime.
Prigmore was also the top seed in a wide open 184-pound bracket. He faced Campbell's seventh-seeded James Cook in the finals. Prigmore gave up an escape and takedown in the second period that he could not overcome, dropping the match 3-2.
Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) adds on to an amazing season with a pair of wins tonight. He scored a 9-6 victory over Campbell's John Merickel to improve to 29-3 overall. He will make his second trip to the NCAAs after earning an at-large bid as a sophomore in 2011.
Malone (Carrollton, Ohio) tried for the fifth time in his career to score a win over The Citadel's Odie Delaney in the heavyweight finals. Malone tied the match at 1-1 with an escape in the third period against the 14th-ranked Delaney, but gave up a late takedown for the 3-1 loss. He is a candidate for an at-large bid to the NCAAs with an 18-10n record against some tough competition.
UTC will now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Championships on March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Mocs will wait to hear if they get any at-large bids to the tournament.
2013 Southern Conference Championships
Saturday - March 9, 2013
1) Chattanooga - 102.5
2) Campbell - 62.5
3) The Citadel - 59.0
4) Gardner-Webb - 49.5
5) SIUE - 29.5
6) Appalachian State 27.0
7) Davidson - 25.5
8) VMI - 23.5
Nick Soto - Champion
Dominic Parisi (App. St.) - W-MD, 15-7
Eric Montoya (Campbell) - W-D, 4-0
Robbie Goulde (GWU) - L-D, 4-6
Brett Boston (App. St.) - W-MD, 12-4
Patrick Myers (SIUE) - L, Fall (2:00)
Dean Pavlou - 2nd Place
Chris Johnson (App. St.) - W-MD, 12-4
Ryan Goodsell (VMI) - W-D, 5-1
Ugi Khishignyam (CIT) - L-D, 2-3
Alex Hudson - Champion
Brandon Brindley (SIUE) - W, Fall (2:37)
Kevin Birmingham (Davidson) - W-MD, 13-4
Ryan Medved (GWU) - W-D, 7-3
Ted Gottwald (VMI) - W-D, 4-1
Matt Frisch (CIT) - L-D, 3-10
Kyle Lowman (SIUE) - W-TF, 17-2 (7:00)
Nick Rex (Campbell) - L-TF, 0-16 (4:23)
Josh Condon - Champion
Adam Osmoe (SIUE) - W-Fall (4:37)
Justin Guthrie (GWU) - W-Fall (5:49)
Zach Strickland (App. St.) - W-D, 7-3
John Lampe - 2nd Place
Ian Solcz (Davidson) - W-Fall (2:43)
Cody Ryba (Campbell) - W-D, 11-4
Hunter Gamble (GWU) - L-D, 1-2 (OT)
Robert Prigmore - 2nd Place
Deshoun White (SIUE) - W-D, 6-0
Connor Black (VMI) - W-D, 6-1
James Cook (Campbell) - L-D, 2-3
Niko Brown - Champion
Urayoan Garcia (VMI) - W-D, 9-4
John Merickel (Campbell) - W-D, 9-6
Kevin Malone - 2nd Place
Joe Cummings (App. St.) - W-MD, 12-0
Travis Porter (GWU) - W-D, 5-1
Odie Delaney (CIT) - L-D, 1-3